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You Think It Strange

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You Think It Strange

Dan Burt

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ISBN 13: 978-1-4683-1125-9
Trim Size: 4 3/4 x 8


Product Description

The piercing, heartbreaking memoir of growing up on the crime-ridden streets of Philadelphia and charting a new path

“Prostitution, gambling, fencing, contract murder, loan sharking, political corruption . . . crimes of every sort were the daily trade in Philadelphia’s Tenderloin, the oldest part of town. The Kevitch family ruled this stew for half a century, from Prohibition to the rise of Atlantic City. My mother was a Kevitch.”

So begins poet Dan Burt’s moving, emotional memoir of life on the dangerous streets of downtown Philadelphia. The son of a butcher and an heiress to an organized crime empire, Burt rejected the harsh world of his upbringing, eventually renouncing his home country as well and forging a new life in the UK. But in this riveting reappraisal of his childhood, Burt wrestles with the idea that home leaves an indelible mark that can never truly be left behind.

Praise for You Think It Strange:

“Dan Burt is a fine poet, and this memoir has all the sensitivity and vigilance you might expect from a writer with such a background. But his prose also has a robustness and documentary power that continually startles and engages. As it combines these things, You Think It Strange catches the strangeness of the world and makes it familiar.” (Andrew Motion)

“Here are the broken contours, and vivid, vigilant prose, of a classic American life-story. You Think It Strange hauls up from the past Dan Burt's upbringing in South Philadelphia. It depicts with unflinching clarity the immigrant experience of Jews from the Pale, the crime families in the Tenderloin, into one of which he was born, long hours of child labor, school, college, early love affairs, drag racing, dangerous fishing expeditions, a car crash, paralysis, and recovery. It's a hard-edged, often violent story, unsparing about human nature, but through it shines Burt1s determination, intelligence, and the graft and craft of writing.” (John Kerrigan, Professor of English 2000, University of Cambridge)

Dan Burt is a writer whose poetry and prose have appeared in PN Review, the TLS, the Financial Times, and the New Statesman, among others. He splits his time between Maine, London, and St. John’s College, Cambridge, of which he is an Honorary Fellow.

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